We thought it fit to give 2016 the old review treatment; so we opened a couple of cold ones and reminisced about the game of football over the last 12 months. Our review covers both the most important events on the pitches all around the world as well as the essential off-field stories of 2016. To cap off we gave out the first ever set of Yesteryear-end awards.
Here are the minutes if you want to jump around:
0:01:30 Jan/Feb: Zidane becomes manager at Real Madrid; Man City sign Pep Guardiola
0:06:45 March/April: Johan Cruyff & Cesare Maldini pass away; their influence on the game today
0:11:00 May/June: Leicester, Real Madrid & Chile pick up trophies, Argentina & England don’t
0:17:00 July: Cristiano with a final performance for the ages
0:20:00 August: Brazil’s Men & Germany’s Women pick up Gold at Olympics
0:21:30 September: Big Sam gets the sack
0:25:00 October/November: Carlos Alberto Torres dies, LaMia Flight 2933 crashes
0:31:30 December: Cristiano receives his fourth Ballon D’Or
0:33:30 YYFP Awards; Best Hair of 2016
0:38:15 Most Ridiculous Governing Body Decision of 2016
With half the season gone and the FA Cup claiming the weekend it’s the ideal time to take a look at the title race in the Premier League.
Our main focus lies on Manchester, naturally. We ponder Pep’s motives and approach, while rejoicing in United’s good run. (Of course, we always had faith in Mourinho.) The big question, though, is: With a Top 4 finish now looking reasonable for United, what two sides would they overtake by season’s end?
Here are the minutes in case you want to jump around:
02:00 Can Burnley plan for PL football in 2017/18?
06:30 What sort of impact will Joey Barton have at Turf Moor?
08:30 Is this the Man Utd of old?
12:30 Will we see Memphis Depay again for Man Utd?
16:00 Can Man Utd sneek into the top 4? What competition will they prioritize?
20:30 Do Arsenal suddendly have grit?
23:00 Is there defeatism setting in for the blue part of Manchester?
As an irregular feature on our Facebook page, we’ve run throwbacks to earlier meetings of upcoming match-ups. Say Manchester United are facing Juventus on the day, we’ll dig up memorable, odd or interesting matches between the teams. [‘member Keano?]
We’re moving the series over to the website and are extending it to a handful of upcoming match-ups on the day or the weekend. First up it’s Arsenal vs Palace, Liverpool vs Man City and the Old Firm.
Arsenal 1:2 Crystal Palace, Oct. 1st 1994
Palace are without a league win against Arsenal for more than two decades now. In other words, they never tasted triumph over Arsene Wenger. Their last win came on October 1st 1994, Palace’s side captained by Gareth Southgate. George Graham was still at the helm for the Gunners, presiding over the oldest defence in the world. Tony Adams, at least, always looked to me ten years older than he actually was. Here he’s just 28, Andy Linighan next to him is 32, but they’re made to look 40+ by Chris Armstrong.
Once more during the international break it’s time for our Premier League special/recap. The fourth so far. We’ve jinxed Tottenham, now it’s time for Liverpool.
While doing that, we take a relaxed look at the six championship contenders. Yes, United are still in the race we’ll have you know! But that doesn’t mean we pull any punches on Mourinho, Schweinsteiger & Co.
After musing over what the next stretch of the season might hold in store for the teams we pay a visit to the Bundesliga and our unofficial adopted team.
Here are the minutes, if you want to jump around:
0:02:00 Can Burnley stay up despite their away troubles?
0:07:45 How will Liverpool keep up their intensity through christmas?
0:15:30 Can Chelsea distance their London neighbors in the next few matchdays?
0:21:00 Will The Real Man City Please Stand Up?
0:27:00 Can Arsenal avoid their November-drop?
0:34:15 Could a dual-leadership of Southgate & Wenger work for England?
0:38:30 Should Tottenham pick either League or Europe and go all-in?
0:52:00 Where do Man United go from here?
1:04:00 Has Mourinho lost the plot?
1:10:00 Who would you start, bench, sell: Mkhitaryan, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger?
1:17:30 Can Leipzig maintain their momentum in the Bundesliga?
1:22:00 Is the end nigh?
1:29:00 Will we see SV Horn in the Champions League soon?
We didn’t find any postcards from Big Sam in the mail and concluded we were not invited to join the England squad during the international break. Instead we sat down and recapped the last few weeks of matches and overall goingons in the Premier League: Contenders for titles and relegation places assemble!
Topics include, but are not limited to:
0:01:30 Are Sunderland doomed already?
0:09:00 Can Stoke, West Ham avoid the relegation battle?
0:12:30 Too early to count anybody out of the relegation battle?
0:15:45 Have City been found out? Or is everybody overreacting?
0:19:45 Can Arsenal, Tottenham sustain their form? Wenger to ride off into the sunset?
0:22:00 Could this be Liverpool’s year?
0:25:45 Will the CL be Leicester’s competition this season?
0:29:00 How are our pre-season predictions faring so far?
0:34:00 Where are Man United headed? Would Rooney make the club’s All-Time XI?
0:40:00 Are Burnley able to grind out more results?
0:45:00 Should England just shut up shop at this point? Who should take over anyway?
0:55:30 How is Oliver Burke doing in Leipzig?
1:01:30 Has the time come for Hamburg to go down? Who are the alternatives?
In a cool hour we talk through the biggest topics of the past month in English & European football, including panic buys on deadline day, positive and negative surprise starts in the Premier League, a quick look at the upcoming group stage in the Champions League and the somewhat underwhelming farewell to one of the greats the past decade has seen.
Soundcloud has the episode for you, stream and/or download:
Here are the minutes:
0:01:20 Panic buys on deadline day? Are Arsenal getting left behind?
0:06:00 Have the top 3 been tested? Pep’s early influence?
0:11:30 British players abroad? How good is Joe Hart really?
0:16:00 A place for Schweinsteiger? Sissoko a statement buy?
0:21:00 Will It Last? Everton, Hull, Middlesbrough
0:26:15 Too Early to Worry? Arsenal, West Ham, Stoke
0:33:20 How would Everton rank in the Bundesliga? Leverkusen & Gladbach in the CL?
0:40:00 Schweinsteiger farewell, Donnarumma debut
0:45:45 Prediction game standings & punishment; Fantasy update
0:52:30 Movies: Snowpiercer, The Lobster, Star Trek Beyond